As an ever-growing market, India has had its share of badge-engineered cars and it has worked out well in some cases. It arrived long before platform-sharing became standard practice between different brands from the same manufacturer groups. The recent diversification in Toyota’s model line, brought thanks to badge-engineered cars shared between Toyota and Maruti Suzuki, has turned out to be very successful. The latest to join the ranks is the Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor. It’s based on the Maruti Suzuki Fronx, which we reviewed last week. We take it for a spin to understand if the slightly increased cost and a different badge have had a meaningful effect on the car.

In terms of its positioning in Toyota’s portfolio, it sits between the Glanza and the Urban Cruiser Hyryder, both of which are cars shared with Maruti Suzuki. Prices are in the range of ₹7.7 lakh and ₹13 lakh, ex-showroom, and it, to some extent, lessens the absence of the erstwhile Urban Cruiser — a sub-four-metre crossover SUV based on the older Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara. It’s a touch more expensive than the Fronx, but it also comes with a longer warranty (three years instead of Maruti Suzuki’s two), but that’s not it.

From its piano-black inserts to hard plastics, everything in Taisor’s cabin is shared with the Maruti Suzuki badged car

From its piano-black inserts to hard plastics, everything in Taisor’s cabin is shared with the Maruti Suzuki badged car


While it retains the same underpinnings, interior and powertrain choices as the Fronx, Toyota has made substantial changes to the way the Urban Cruiser Taisor looks. It’s considerably more muscular at the front, with a large trapezoidal grille taking prominence at the centre. The slim LED DRLs and the LED headlight cluster are reminiscent of the larger Urban Cruiser Hyryder, and that’s no bad thing. It retains the crossover stance of the Fronx and the instantly recognisable rear-end styling — including the connected LED bit between the tail lights, which have a new C-shaped element. The 16-inch alloy wheels are machine-cut and make the car look more stylish, complemented by a choice of paints including the rather impressive orange.

While on the outside where Toyota has added individuality to the Taisor’s design, the interior remains identical to that of the Fronx. From its piano-black inserts to hard plastics, everything is shared with the Maruti Suzuki badged car. This isn’t exactly a bad thing per se, because this means that ease of use, a decent list of features, and even the comfortable seating are all there. There’s a 9-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, and a 360-degree camera. For occupant safety, there’s the choice to spec up to six airbags, whereas ABS, ESP and hill assist are standard inclusions.

The boot, at a fairly voluminous 308 litres of space, is decent, although there’s a high lip which might mean getting large suitcases into it is a bit of a workout. The seats are nice and comfortable, although the space at the back isn’t enough for three passengers to travel comfortably. The parking camera’s resolution isn’t the greatest either. While in isolation, the Taisor’s interior is quite alright, it could’ve been made way more appealing had Toyota offered a slightly different cabin.

Practical car

Unsurprisingly, the same story is carried over in the way it drives, but as we found with the Fronx, the Taisor is far from a dud. It tackles bad roads with ease, and with the added ground clearance (over a standard hatchback), it proves to be a more practical car, especially if you frequent bad roads. It handles well, too, and as is the case with the Fronx, the powerful 1-litre turbocharged petrol engine has abundance of power, once it sings past the 2,500 rpm mark. Below that, there’s some turbo lag, but on the whole, it seems as refined as a four-cylinder engine, effectively hiding that it is, in fact, a small three-cylinder unit. The six-speed automatic gearbox is smooth but if you’re looking for DCT-like quick shifts, you’ll be disappointed. Paddle shifters are a saving grace if you want a touch more control over the gearbox. The other engine in the model line, a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol, can also be specced to run on CNG.

The Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor is just like the Maruti Suzuki Fronx with a slightly heavier price tag. For the added cost, you get a longer warranty, a visibly more muscular front design and everything the Fronx offers. It’s not a bad deal by any means, and as far as badge engineering goes, it looks equipped to be a great example.